Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mahoning Valley Provincialism

While Youngstown tries to move boldly forward, Girard remains stubbornly stuck in the past. I've been following the dispute between the two cities concerning the $1 billion V&M Star expansion. The old municipal rivalry shouldn't be taken lightly:

Some Girard residents spoke out against Youngstown giving any land toward the project. “I wouldn’t give Youngstown one foot of this land,” growled Mike Panno. “I don’t care if V&M moves to Texas, I wouldn’t give them one foot of Girard,” he said, vowing to campaign against those who voted for the resolution without knowing it details.

That angry voice will find political expression and even if this gets done, all the brinkmanship going on will leave a bad taste in mouths of both cities. Workers like to blame globalization or free trade agreements for their troubles. But no one pays any attention to all the self-destructive behavior going on all around them.

If Mahoning Valley residents are going to help themselves, then parochial attitudes have to go. Getting what you can now says that you don't expect much in the future. Mayor James Melfi represents the constituency that has no hope.

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